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UPDATE: Man jailed for life for murder of Simonne Kerr in Clapham

News   •   Jul 03, 2019 19:06 BST

Desmond Sylva

A man has been jailed for life for the murder of Simonne Kerr in Clapham.

Desmond Sylva, 41, (15.04.1978) of Grayshott Road, SW11, was sentenced today at the Old Bailey to life with a minimum of 20 years having been found guilty at an earlier hearing.

On 15 August 2018 at 12:38hrs, police were called to a report of a stabbing at a residential address in Grayshott Road, SW11.

London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance also attended.

When they arrived, officers conducted a search of a flat, and found 31-year-old nurse Simonne Kerr with multiple injuries.

Desmond Sylva, 41, (15.04.1978) of Grayshott Road, SW11 was arrested at the scene and charged with murder on 16 August 2018.

A post-mortem conducted on the same date, determined that 70 stab wounds had been inflicted upon Simonne, who was discovered partially covered by a duvet in the bedroom.

Cause of death was given as injuries consistent with stabbing.

On Wednesday, 19 June, a jury at the Old Bailey returned their verdict and found Sylva guilty of murder.

Simonne, who was originally from Wembley, was back in touch with Sylva after their relationship had initially come to an end in February 2018.

On the day she was killed, Simonne had finished her working day at Guys & St. Thomas’ Hospital and travelled to Sylva’s flat in Clapham.

At 12.38hrs, Sylva called 999 and admitted he had killed Simonne, who was pronounced dead at the scene at 13:41hrs, despite the best efforts of medics.

Sylva had also called his brother shortly before 12:30pm to explain that he had just murdered his girlfriend.

At the scene, Sylva was met by officers and confirmed he had made the 999 call.

While other officers attempted to administer first aid to Simonne, and as paramedics travelled on blue lights to the address, Sylva told police that he had mental health problems and claimed that during an argument with Simonne, he had been forced to defend himself using a knife.

Sylva was arrested on suspicion of murder and an investigation was launched by the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command.

A consultant forensic pathologist concluded that the injuries inflicted upon Simonne were carried out in rapid succession.

The murder weapon – a 20cm kitchen knife – was recovered in the flat in Grayshott Road.

In February 2019, Sylva pleaded guilty to manslaughter and admitted that it was not a case of self-defence, as he had originally claimed.

He instead put forward that he had been suffering from depression at the time which caused him to carry out the attack.